The latest medical research on Immunology & Allergy

The research magnet gathers the latest research from around the web, based on your specialty area. Below you will find a sample of some of the most recent articles from reputable medical journals about immunology & allergy gathered by our medical AI research bot.

The selection below is filtered by medical specialty. Registered users get access to the Plexa Intelligent Filtering System that personalises your dashboard to display only content that is relevant to you.

Want more personalised results?

Request Access

Association Between Sleep Characteristics and Asthma Control in Middle-Aged and Older Adults: A Prospective Cohort Study.

Journal of Asthma and Allergy

Nocturnal asthma symptoms are a well-known feature of sleep disturbance. However, there are few reports on the association between sleep-related characteristics and asthma exacerbation. The aim of the current prospective observational study was to explore the factors while sleeping associated with future asthma exacerbation.

At baseline, adult asthmatics underwent home sleep monitoring by a Watch-PAT instrument and then they were prospectively followed-up for the occurrence of exacerbations. The number of asthma exacerbation was observed over a period of one year, and multivariable analyses of the factors associated with asthma exacerbation were performed.

A total of 62 asthmatic subjects were enrolled (mean age 62.1 years), 59 of whom were finally included in the prospective observational study. Obstructive sleep apnea (defined by an apnea-hypopnea index based on peripheral arterial tone more than 5 times/hour) were observed in 81% of the subjects. During the one-year monitoring period, 14 of the 59 subjects (24%) used occasional systemic corticosteroids for their exacerbation asthma (worsened group) while the other 45 subjects did not experience asthma exacerbation (stable group). A comparison of the baseline clinical characteristics and sleep-related data between the two groups, mean forced expiratory volume one second percent (FEV1/FVC), mean baseline Asthma Control Test (ACT) score, median pAHI value, and median oxygen desaturation index value were significantly lower in the worsened group than those in the stable group. Additionally, mean prevalence of the left lateral decubitus (LLD) position in sleep monitoring were significantly higher in the worsened group than that in the stable group. Among the independent variables, baseline asthma severity, ACT score, and the LLD position showed significant associations with asthma exacerbation.

The present study identified that sleeping in the LLD position was also associated with asthma exacerbation.

Allergic Rhinitis Therapy Decisions During a Routine Consultation: A Multicenter, Cross-Sectional Survey.

Journal of Asthma and Allergy

Allergic rhinitis (AR) is characterized by nasal and ocular symptoms, and substantially impacts the quality of life. Therapy selection for patients with AR depends on several factors, including symptom severity, age, patient preference, patient adherence, and cost.

The purpose of this multicenter, noninterventional, cross-sectional survey was to evaluate current therapy decisions in routine clinical practice for patients with symptomatic AR, and to determine how these decisions are linked to experiences with previous treatments and current symptom severity as assessed by aVAS. The survey included patients aged 18 years or older in Spain and 12 years or older in Hungary who consulted a physician for treatment of AR symptoms. Physicians recorded AR symptom burden in the previous 7 days, previous AR treatments, and the current AR therapy decision made at the visit.

Overall, 72.9% of 181 patients (Spain) and 67.1% of 228 patients (Hungary) had received treatment in the previous 7 days. Among patients who had received step 3 treatment, 82.9% (Spain) and 75.8% (Hungary) received a free combination of intranasal corticosteroid (INCS) and antihistamines. Despite the high number of pretreated patients in both countries, 72.9% and 78.9% in Spain and Hungary, respectively, reported uncontrolled symptoms (VAS ≥50 mm). Of pretreated patients, 58.3% (Spain) and 61.4% (Hungary) received a step-up in treatment during the visit. Physicians more often prescribed a fixed combination of INCS and intranasal antihistamine than a free combination. However, of patients with uncontrolled symptoms who received previous therapy, 28.0% (Hungary) and 40.6% (Spain) did not receive a step-up as suggested by the guidelines.

Many patients suffering from acute AR symptoms consulted with their physician because of insufficient medications. Not all patients with uncontrolled symptoms received a step-up in treatment, underscoring the need for improved physician education to enhance AR management and control in accordance with consensus treatment guidelines.

The Effects of Asthma on the Association Between Pulmonary Function and Obesity: A 16-Year Longitudinal Study.

Journal of Asthma and Allergy

Asthma and obesity are important public health issues around the world. Obesity is considered a risk factor associated with the severity and incidence of asthma. We investigated the relationships between poor pulmonary function (defined by forced vital capacity (FVC) and percentage of predicted FVC (FVC%)) and obesity.

This is a retrospective longitudinal study using the MJ health examination database in Taiwan from 2000 to 2015. There were 160,609 participants aged ≥20 years with complete obesity indicators and lung function data, and having at least two visits. A generalized estimation equation (GEE) model was applied to estimate the association between lung function and obesity.

BMI was the best indicator to predict poor pulmonary function for our participants. Results of BMI are presented as an example: Obesity (body mass index (BMI) ≥27.0 kg/m2) is significantly associated with lower FVC [adjusted coefficients (β) for asthmatics: -0.11 L (95% CI: -0.14, -0.08); adjusted β for non-asthmatics: -0.08 L (-0.09, -0.08)] and FVC% [adjusted β for asthmatics: -1.91% (95% CI: -2.64, -1.19); adjusted β for non-asthmatics: 1.48% (-1.63, -1.33)]. Annual change of BMI (ΔBMI/year) is an independent risk factor for decreased FVC [adjusted β for asthmatics: -0.030 L (-0.048, -0.013); adjusted β for non-asthmatics: -0.019 L (-0.022, -0.016)] and FVC% [adjusted β for non-asthmatics: -0.603% (-1.063, -0.142); adjusted β for non-asthmatics: -0.304% (-0.393, -0.214)], and is significantly associated with accelerated FVC decline [adjusted β of ΔFVC/year and ΔFVC %/year for asthmatics: -0.038 L (-0.054, -0.022) and -0.873% (-1.312, -0.435); adjusted β of ΔFVC/year and ΔFVC %/year for non-asthmatics: -0.033 L (-0.042, -0.024) and -0.889% (-1.326, -0.452)].

Obesity is significantly associated with decreased lung function, and asthmatics had a higher risk than non-asthmatics.

Mechanisms and primary prevention of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease among people living with HIV.

Current Opinion in Cell Biology

To highlight mechanisms of elevated risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) among people living with HIV (PLWH), discuss therapeutic strategies, and opportunities for primary prevention.

HIV-associated ASCVD risk is likely multifactorial and due to HIV-specific factors and traditional risk factors even in the setting of treated and suppressed HIV disease. Although a growing body of evidence suggests that inflammation and immune activation are key drivers of atherogenesis, therapies designed to lower inflammation including colchicine and low-dose methotrexate have not improved secondary cardiovascular endpoints among PLWH. Statins continue to be the mainstay of management of hyperlipidemia in HIV, but the impact of newer lipid therapies including proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 inhibitors on ASCVD risk among PLWH is under investigation. Aside from the factors mentioned above, healthcare disparities are particularly prominent among PLWH and thus likely contribute to increased ASCVD risk.

Our understanding of mechanisms of elevated ASCVD risk in HIV continues to evolve, and the optimal treatment for CVD in HIV aside from targeting traditional risk factors remains unknown. Future studies including novel therapies to lower inflammation, control of risk factors, and implementation science are needed to ascertain optimal ways to treat and prevent ASCVD among PLWH.

What's new in bone disease and fractures in HIV?

Current Opinion in Cell Biology

People living with HIV (PWH) are at greater risk of low bone mineral density (BMD) and fractures compared to the general population. This narrative review summarises recent literature in the field, including the relative contribution of antiretroviral therapy and frailty to low BMD and fractures in PWH.

The body of evidence indicating less impact on BMD from the use of tenofovir alafenamide compared to tenofovir disoproxil fumarate continues to grow, although this has not yet translated into data supporting a reduction in fracture incidence. Frailty, common in PWH, is associated with both fractures and alterations in renal-bone metabolism, but is an area that is understudied in relation to interventions to reduce fracture risk in PWH.

Although a maturing field, research into interventions to reduce fracture incidence in PWH is lacking in both quantity and scope. Development of core outcome datasets for clinical trials along with trials focused on reducing or reversing frailty are required to guide improvements overall bone health outcomes in PWH.

The Association Between Lung Fluorodeoxyglucose Metabolism and Smoking History in 347 Healthy Adults.

Journal of Asthma and Allergy

This study aimed to evaluate the relationship between fluorodeoxyglucose metabolism and smoking history in healthy adults by analyzing lung standardized uptake value (SUV).

The 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose positron emission tomography/computed tomography (18F-FDG PET/CT) studies of 347 patients who did not show signs of having malignant diseases or lung inflammation were retrospectively evaluated. Four circular regions of interest (ROI) were manually drawn on the upper and lower lung regions. The averages of maximum SUV (SUVmax-avr) and mean SUV (SUVmean-avr) were calculated, and the mean values of each parameter for non-smokers, ex-smokers, and current smokers were compared. The correlation between SUVmax-avr and smoking history (tobacco burden and the duration of smoking cessation) was assessed based on present smoking status. The ex-smokers and current smokers were divided into three groups according to their tobacco burden, and the SUVmax-avrs of the two groups were compared.

Both the mean values of SUVmax-avr and SUVmean-avr increased based on smoking history, with non-smokers having the lowest values and current smokers the highest. Tobacco burden had a positive correlation with SUVmax-avr in current smokers (r = 0.474, P< 0.001). However, neither tobacco burden (r = 0171, P = 0.162) nor duration of smoking cessation (r = 0.212, P = 0.082) had a significant correlation with SUVmax-avr in ex-smokers. The mean SUVmax-avr of current smokers was significantly higher than that of ex-smokers in patients with a medium or large tobacco burden (P = 0.012, P< 0.001, respectively). Although there was no significant difference between the mean SUVmax-avrs of ex-smokers and current smokers in patients with a small tobacco burden (P = 0.888), the mean SUVmax-avrs of both ex-smokers and current smokers with a small tobacco burden were significantly higher than that of non-smokers (P< 0. 001, P< 0.001, respectively).

The findings indicate that lung SUV increases in current heavy smokers and partially decreases after the cessation of smoking, which is in line with previous reports studied by analyzingfluorodeoxyglucose (FDG) metabolism of lung specimens.

New Perspectives in the Management of Mild to Moderate Asthma in Children.

Journal of Asthma and Allergy

Mild to moderate asthma makes up the greatest proportion of all asthma severities in childhood. Children who are treated with steps 1-2 are defined...

Association Between Olfactory Function and Asthma in Adults.

Journal of Asthma and Allergy

Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) and allergic rhinitis (AR) are common asthma-associated upper airway diseases. Olfactory dysfunction, a common symptom among these patients, is an increasingly recognized condition that is associated with a reduced quality of life and major health outcomes. However, there are few studies on the association between olfactory function and asthma. We investigated the relationship between asthma and olfactory function.

A total of 146 patients with asthma aged >18 years were retrospectively analyzed from August 2019 to February 2020. Olfactory function was assessed using the Sniffin' stick test or the YSK olfactory function test. We compared the clinical parameters of patients with olfactory dysfunction and patients with normosmia.

Of the total participants, 68 (46.6%) showed olfactory dysfunction (hyposmia, n=31; anosmia, n=37). The patients with olfactory dysfunction were older, had longer durations of asthma, and a higher proportion of those with poor general health, CRS, and nasal polyps compared to patients with normosmia. However, there were no significant differences in the socioeconomic status, lung function, asthma severity, and use of inhaled corticosteroids or intranasal steroids between the two groups. Age (odds ratio: 1.044, 95% confidence interval: 1.009-1.081, P=0.012), poor general health (3.304, 1.231-8.863, P=0.018), CRS (2.589, 1.155-5.804, P=0.021), and nasal polyps (3.306, 1.1-9.94, P=0.033) were significantly associated with olfactory dysfunction.

Olfactory dysfunction was quite frequently observed in adults with asthma. Age, poor general health, CRS, and nasal polyps were significantly associated with olfactory dysfunction.

An Unusual Case of Multiple Food Allergies Comorbid with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity: A Case Report.

Journal of Asthma and Allergy

To report the case of a patient with multiple food allergies comorbid with multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) who was misdiagnosed on various occasions, resulting in a negative impact on the patient's personal and social life.

We present the case of a 43-year-old Colombian women with multiple food allergies concomitant with MCS. Symptoms started with a mild reaction to insecticides, car exhaust smoke, and perfumes and gradually evolved into a severe reaction to her environment. She also presented recurrent episodes of clinical reactivity to foods and persistent elevated IgE levels, as well as several life-threatening anaphylactic reactions. Alternative and allopathic therapies were applied, but her symptoms persisted. Various diagnoses were made before the definitive diagnosis.

MCS is an unusual entity of unknown pathophysiology that can, on rare occasions, coexist with food allergies. Early recognition and multidisciplinary treatment are required as these entities have a major impact on the patient's quality of life. We present the first Latin American case regarding the association of the two diseases.

Current co-morbidities burden in patients living with HIV in low- and middle-income countries.

Current Opinion in Cell Biology

The present review aims to decipher common co-morbidities faced by people living with HIV in low- to middle-income countries, and in particular the sub-Saharan region, which hosts the majority of the HIV burden worldwide.

Well-controlled chronic HIV disease is strongly associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This is partly due to the natural aging process, however recent studies show that using antiretroviral therapy as well as the HIV disease itself may be predisposing factors to the development of cardiovascular diseases, creating a new burden for healthcare facilities in the region. Furthermore, newly completed studies assessing inflammation marker albuminuria and age-related syndrome frailty have been found in a higher prevalence than in non-HIV people, with increased morbidity and mortality.

As antiretroviral medication continues to be well supplied in the region and well tolerated by patients living with HIV, this group is now reckoning with cardiovascular ailments faced by all ageing population therefore there is a need for cardiovascular care systems to be better integrated within the existing, well-performing HIV care cascade to address this burden.

Frailty: the current challenge for aging people with HIV.

Current Opinion in Cell Biology

Older adults account for the majority of people with HIV (PWH) in high-income countries and have increasingly complex clinical profiles related to premature aging. Frailty is an important geriatric syndrome affecting a minority of PHW. Frailty negatively affects PHW's clinical status and quality of life. This review will update care providers on the current state of frailty that limits the healthspan of PWH.

Ongoing low-level HIV replication in treated PWH leads to immune activation and chronic inflammation contributing to the destabilization of normally autoregulated physiologic systems in response to environmental and biologic challenges characteristic of frailty. Understanding these underlying mechanisms will determine potential intervention options. Potentially reversible risk factors that promote progression to and reversion from the dynamic state of frailty are being studied and will help prevent frailty. Simple assessment tools and treatment strategies for frailty are being adapted for aging PWH.

Insight into underlying biologic mechanisms and adapting proven geriatric principles of interdisciplinary care will inform the healthy aging of PWH.

Clinical consequences of asymptomatic cytomegalovirus in treated human immunodeficency virus infection.

Current Opinion in Cell Biology

Despite antiretroviral therapy (ART)-mediated viral suppression, people with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) (PWH) have increased morbidity and mortality. Immune activation and inflammation persist on ART and predict these complications. Over 90% of PWH have cytomegalovirus (CMV) co-infection, and CMV is considered a plausible contributor to this persistent immune activation.

A detailed understanding of the link between CMV and multimorbidity is needed, particularly as research moves toward identifying potential targeted therapeutics to attenuate inflammation-mediated morbidity and mortality in treated HIV. We review the literature on the association between CMV and immune activation as well as multiple end-organ complications including cardiovascular disease, venous thromboembolic disease, metabolic complications, gastrointestinal dysfunction, central nervous system involvement, birth sex-related differences, and the relation to the HIV reservoir. We conclude with a discussion of ongoing therapeutic efforts to target CMV.

As CMV is a plausible driver of multiple comorbidities through persistent immune activation in treated HIV, future research is needed and planned to address its causal role as well as to test novel therapeutics in this setting.